Easter 2014 – masterclass with Simon Keenlyside CBE

James & Si

This weekend course took place in Winchester College‘s wonderful music department on Saturday and Sunday 12th-13th April and featured among other delights a masterclass given by baritone Simon Keenlyside CBE.

“the singers were just so good and so committed….that it was hardly a trouble to take the opportunity to mention a few things that just might have been better addressed’

Simon worked with six aspiring singers, dealing sensitively and encouragingly with technical issues, as well as revealing his own uniquely imaginative response to text and phrasing. As one of our tutors wrote, “it was wonderful to have Simon there – not just for the absolutely invaluable things he said, and his judgement of what to say when, but for the glimpses he gave us of that wonderful sound which really showed us that resonance is key and will make a voice carry in any space!”

Simon also spent part of the morning with us, enjoying performances of ten singers whose names had been picked from a hat at the start of the day. It was a happy chance that a succession of garden birds were audible through an open window and that so many of the songs inside the room made reference to bird-song! Those hanging on Simon’s every word will have spotted that he paid tribute to the birds outside by accurately naming them as part of his brief feedback to each singer!

“The quality of the singers was just a joy”

It was a joy and a privilege to have Simon with us. The fact that he brought his wonderful family too helped to add to the magic of the weekend.